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Phoenix adds three to the fold

and KEVIN GOFF

Never has wardrobe been as much of a concern as it will be for Brian Miller next year.

Already the head coach in track and cross country at Rogue River High, Miller was tabbed Tuesday as the new boys basketball head coach at Phoenix High.

With no teaching positions currently available at Phoenix, and an admittedly good spot at Rogue River under principal Dave Orr, Miller says he has no qualms with being an off-campus coach of the Pirates.

That is, so long as he remembers to pay attention to what he's wearing.

I'm going to have to keep my Rogue River green on one end of the closet and the Phoenix red and blue on the other, says Miller, 34. I don't want to show up with Chieftain colors at a Pirates event or anything like that.

— Phoenix also announced the hiring of Jean Schneider as the girls soccer coach and Randy Kirkland as girls basketball coach.

Schneider replaces John Doty as head coach for the Pirates soccer team.

He is a young guy looking to run a quality program, says Phoenix athletic director Brent Barry. He has great ideas and is already excited about getting things going and building a program.

Schneider is a German citizen who moved to Medford one year ago. He attended St. Mary's for one year in the late 1980s as an exchange student and graduated from the University of Portland in 1995.

Schneider, who has plenty of experience coaching girls and boys soccer at different levels in Europe, will make his head coaching debut at the girls high school level.

It's a fantastic opportunity for me, says Schneider, a business consultant whose wife, Kari, is a North Medford graduate. I am really looking forward to it.

Kirkland was an assistant under Kyle Walker last year in girls basketball. Walker stepped down after 17 seasons at the helm for Phoenix.

He really knows the game, says Barry. We are really looking forward to seeing what Randy can do. He will put an exciting product on the floor.

The former Illinois Valley standout has coached at the freshman and junior varsity levels and was the head coach for one season for the Hidden Valley boys basketball team five years ago.

Kirkland, 30, inherits a team that struggled to a 5-19 record last season.

It's definitely a great opportunity, says Kirkland. Kyle had a fairly successful program that, while not at the top every time, was still in the top four in league most of the time.

I know a lot of teams didn't like coming here to play Phoenix.

In Miller's case, switching gears from Rogue River to Phoenix won't be anything new to him. He spent last season as an assistant under Kevin Dixon, who stepped down after the season and will assist Tim Karrick with the North Medford girls basketball team.

Miller has plenty of basketball experience going back to his playing days in Alaska and at Southern Oregon University.

He assisted Brian McDermott at SOU in 1996, then worked under Matt Meunier at Crater High the following two seasons.

In 1999, Miller went to Estacada High for three years and then served as an assistant at Barlow.

Miller and his family moved back to the area where he spent two more years with Meunier at Crater before helping Dixon last season.

Phoenix has made the playoffs the last four seasons under Dixon and placed third in the Skyline Conference the last two years.

Being over there the past couple years will be a positive thing, says Miller. I think it's a positive thing that I was over there last year and not coming in brand new. A lot of the kids and parents know me and know what I expect.

Miller and his wife, Lori, have three children in 10-year-old son Alex, and daughters Sarah (8) and Abby (6).

Being closer to familiar surroundings ' Lori is a Crater graduate ' makes the Phoenix job a perfect fit for Miller.

It looks like it's going to be a good thing for me and my family, says Miller, and hopefully it's a good thing for Phoenix and all the people over there.

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 776-4488, or e-mail Phoenix adds three to the fold"khenry@mailtribune.com. Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 776-4483 or e-mail Phoenix adds three to the fold"kgoff@mailtribune.com.